VIDEO: 34th District Democrats endorse Jayapal, hear from Herbold on trees & more…


By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With 54 days until Election Day, our area’s largest political organization, the 34th District Democrats, endorsed State Sen. Pramila Jayapal tonight in her run for the 7th Congressional District.

While the endorsement vote was the night’s marquee event, along with the “mini-forum” with Jayapal and opponent State Rep. Brady Piñero Walkinshaw that preceded it, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold‘s appearance made some headlines, so we’ll recap that first:


CITY COUNCILMEMBER LISA HERBOLD: First thing – the East Duwamish Greenspace tree-cutting investigation, which has now been under way for almost six months.

(April WSB photo – south end of area where trees were cut)

Her last major update on this was three months ago.

She says she has asked if SPD’s investigation is over and was told, she said, “we’re going to be hearing something from the Law Department [City Attorney’s Office] next week, so I’m anticipating some forward movement on the issue.” (We have been asking SPD about it periodically, and earlier this week we were told there’s nothing official to say except that the investigation was continuing.)

Herbold had quick updates on several other issues (added 12:43 am – here’s the video of her entire briefing):

She had sought a revision in the B&O tax to fund public safety, and that a new classification for businesses with “over $5 million in revenue” would be created so that most of the tax money will come from the businesses with that category of revenue. Regarding the new speed-limit proposal, she said she hadn’t heard about it until she read a news story today, and reiterated that it goes to the Council Transportation Committee next week. (Here’s our much-commented report.)

She mentioned working with Beach Drive residents regarding drag racing and said that SDOT has committed to installing “speed humps” there and will likely start that work before month’s end.

Nothing new on 35th SW, she went on to say, while saying she’s aware that the corridor Safety Project has been a “divisive” issue – “I’ve heard a lot of support and a lot of opposition” regarding Phase I and the planned Phase II of the project.

On a citywide issue, she mentioned another glitch with the new utility-billing system. The committee Herbold chairs is in charge of utilities, among other things, including economic development, which related to the next thing she mentioned, the “legacy business” issue. People were surveyed about which businesses they wanted to make sure didn’t go away, and while Scarecrow Video came in first, Herbold said West Seattle’s Husky Deli and Easy Street Records came in second and third.

Her “secure scheduling” proposal passed committee with five votes this week, enough to pass the full Council next week, she said.

Tenant protection: Herbold recapped the source-of-income legislation and how it now will protect renters from discrimination based on a variety of factors … Also, she noted that landlords whose units are not registered with the city are not allowed to raise rents (you can check here to see if your rental unit is registered).

Upzones and affordability: She mentioned the upcoming U-District upzoning and says she’s hoping that the percentage of affordable housing required will be higher than what’s currently being considered, and also hoping for a fee that will help lead to more affordable housing.

Encampment legislation: “I want to be really clear, the vote taken last Tuesday was a procedural vote, it did not indicate anybody’s support” (or lack of it) “I’m really confident there’s going to be a lot of debate around this piece of legislation.” She said that most cleared encampments are re-occupied – “what we’re doing is not working,” so the vote taken last week was “to get the discussion going.” 40 percent of the city’s parks already “are occupied by chronically homeless people … we’re not talking about opening them up, but managing what’s currently happening …”

Now, back to the congressional race:

CONGRESSIONAL ENDORSEMENT AND MINI-FORUM: The 34th had endorsed King County Council chair Joe McDermott before the primary, but he didn’t make it into the top two, so they needed to take a new endorsement vote tonight. The results: Sen. Jayapal was endorsed with 71 percent of the vote – 85 votes to 34 for Rep. Walkinshaw.

Those speaking in favor of Jayapal before the vote included West Seattle-residing City Councilmembers Lorena González and Lisa Herbold. Those speaking in favor of Walkinshaw included State House Rep. Eileen Cody, former City Council candidate Brianna Thomas, and West Seattle Helpline director Chris Langeler.

Before the vote, the two candidates sat down for a “mini-forum,” moderated by 34th DDs chair Marcee Stone-Vekich. (Added 1:53 am – video of the mini-forum in its entirety:)

First question – “In your first year, what is the boldest bill you will propose and how will you build a coalition around it?”

Jayapal: Affordable college. She said she already has relationships with Congressmembers and “we need to make sure we are driving people toward education, not away. … This investment that we are making will come back time and time again. It’s … an economic boon … I can’t wait to provide a pathway to opportunity for our young people and our older parents … I know because I have a kid in college.”

Walkinshaw: A federal carbon tax/price. “Climate change is the most important generational issue that we face … we are at a point in time when we cannot wait another day before bold and decisive action on climate change.” He said he thinks about that day and night, especially on behalf “of the kids that my husband and I hope to someday have.”

Where does our congressional district most need federal help and what are your plans to address it?

Walkinshaw: “We need to build common ground. First – I would want to serve you as a community on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.” He said Congress is doing a “miserable job” on related policies. He also mentioned housing as an issue of concern, and homelessness.

Jayapal: “I also believe that the federal government has dis-invested in everything that is important to us – I think it is a paramount duty for the next congressperson to bring back federal dollars, and federal dollars that leverage state dollars. in all these areas.” She mentioned health care and “tak(ing) on oil companies,” too.

Neither of you was a Hillary Clinton supporter from the get-go, so how would you work with her?

Jayapal: “As an immigrant woman of color, I do not have the luxury of Donald Trump as president … Hillary Clinton has said she will work (quickly) on immigrant reform, and I can’t wait to work with her on that. … I am a big fan of single-payer health care and I think we should have that. … I want to take on the big banks, I believe Hillary Clinton will go there … and reforming our tax system so that corporations will pay what they should pay.”

Walkinshaw: “For me first and foremost it came down to strong statements about the environment, early on …” He mentioned Arctic drilling and fracking. “Here’s the issue: I think we’re both progressives in this race, and the question is, who will effectively build the bridges to deliver for our home and take the values we have here and bring them to Washington D.C.” He too is for single-payer health care, he said, for example.

Is there any hope for reducing gun violence in our country?

Walkinshaw – “Yes.” He finished that by acknowledging former opponent King County Council Chair Joe McDermott for focusing on that issue. He then said he expects that after Secretary Clinton is elected, “we are on the verge of the most progressive Supreme Court in history. … I have a lot of hope in Supreme Court cases that will reinterpret the Second Amendment.”

Jayapal – “I’m really excited about a roundtable this week that I pulled together,” including former West Seattleite Cheryl Stumbo, who survived the Jewish Federation shooting and advocates for gun-law reform. “We came up with some great ideas – we need to start investing in public-health research … very specific ways we can do that,” through data, and “start to .. make the case for how we take on these gun manufactureres through the Affordable Care Act.”

Closing question: Why should we vote for you?

Jayapal: She said that those present likely know her for a variety of things, including OneAmerica, $15 minimum wage, payday lending, expanding contraceptive access – “You know what I can do.” She promised to “stand up for the values that are dear to us as Americans … building a movement … making sure everybody is excited about voting.”

Walkinshaw: “I’m running for Congress because I love the Northwest … my mother’s family immigrated from Cuba in the 1960s. …” He said he’s running because of “the innovation, the progressiveness, the forward-lookingness” of our area … “and because of my passion for our home.”

STATE LANDS COMMISSIONER: The other race in which the 34th DDs took an endorsement vote, State Lands Commissioner, had a rep speaking on behalf of “the only Democrat who made it” to the general election, Hillary Franz. The rep characterized Franz’s opponent as a “far-right Republican, Donald Trump supporter.”

PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENT: Though it wasn’t on the agenda, an endorsement in the presidential race was proposed too. Hillary Clinton was endorsed by credential-raising, though not before someone suggested Bernie Sanders. (Chair Stone-Vekich said that would be out of order since he’s no longer running.)

SCHOOL-CONSTRUCTION RESOLUTION: The group endorsed, 33 to 22, a resolution asking the city to raise money for school construction via developer impact fees.

ANNOUNCEMENTS: Chair Marcee Stone-Vekich announced a volunteer event coming up this Saturday in West Seattle to help introduce people to doorbelling. Info will be on the 34th DDs’ website soon. … Campaigns that provided updates included judicial candidate Eric Newman (who said that he was stopping by though it was his wedding anniversary) and reps from the campaigns of Sen. Patty Murray, Supreme Court Justice Mary Yu and judicial candidate Anthony Gipe,

The 34th District Democrats meet second Wednesdays, 7 pm, at The Hall at Fauntleroy, and publish frequent updates at

15 Replies to "VIDEO: 34th District Democrats endorse Jayapal, hear from Herbold on trees & more..."

  • flimflam September 14, 2016 (10:55 pm)

    six month investigation into the clear cut?  must be an extremely complex case.

    • Jon Wright September 15, 2016 (11:28 am)

      I think the extended investigation speaks more to the prevalence of omertà in that neighborhood.

      • newnative September 15, 2016 (1:25 pm)

        OT-Thanks for the new-to-me word of the week.  Really descriptive of several criminal activities out of the Admiral District.  

  • ScubaFrog September 14, 2016 (11:32 pm)

    I really hope the tree issue isn’t going to go away.  I’m glad and grateful that Herbold keeps asking the SPD and the attorney’s office about the legal status.

  • dsa September 14, 2016 (11:44 pm)

    What does the site look like now? 

  • Andy September 15, 2016 (7:24 am)

    What does Pramila Jayapal mean, “re-interpret the Second Amendment?” The Second Amendment needs no “re-interpretation.” Instead, what we need is to do a better job of keeping guns out of the hands of mental defectives, “Wanna-be-terrorists,” violators of present gun laws, and to stop violating the rights of legal gun owners. I-594, for example, was supposed to eliminate private sales without a background check. How many prosecutions have there been? Zero, that’s how many.

    To me, what anti-Second Amendment politicians really mean is to end private “legal” ownership. Criminals, of course, will ignore new gun laws, just like our state government ignores violators of I-594. I would like to see Pramila Jayapal focus on the enforcement of present gun laws, and stop using my Constitutional rights for her political talking points.

    • Kev September 15, 2016 (7:44 am)

      Don’t worry Andy, the country’s second amendment rights will never be abolished. First, you need two thirds of Congress to support an amendment. Then, you need three fourths of states to ratify it. That will never happen.

      • Mickymse September 15, 2016 (9:49 am)

        Unless y’all are part of a local militia… it’s not Jayapal who’s “reinterpreting” anything. It’s funny how conservatives are strict constructionists about the Constitution on the issues they oppose and open to “judicial activism” on the ones they don’t.

        • Jon September 15, 2016 (2:19 pm)

          Maybe you missed that part about how a militia comes into existence in the first place, back in grade school? Who do you think supplies the necessary arms if it comes time to form said militia? Without the arms, you have no militia. If you’re seriously arguing the point of forming a militia, but find yourself against the general ownership and distribution of arms, you must realize that an unarmed militia is simply a disagreeable crowd and that you’ve just defeated your own argument as it “shall not be infringed.”

          The potential militia’s arms are also “well regulated”. You wouldn’t believe the amount of regulation! So, seeing as you’re apparently a Constitutionalist, this should all be satisfactory logic to put the issue to rest, no?

          None of that means much to criminals. Neither do traffic signs or other laws. This is why they are criminals. No amount of writing will ever change that, sadly. Just because someone disagrees with your beliefs doesn’t make them a “Constitutionalist Conservative”.

    • Jon September 15, 2016 (2:07 pm)

      Politicians who intend to “reinterpret” the Second Amendment (all the while, enjoying the protection it affords them when they’re at events or exposed to the unwashed masses) just sacrifice their votes to The Other Candidate for me and for many others. It’s just that simple, really. And to anyone who is afraid of guns: please understand that gun owners are the ones who have agreed to “sensible gun laws”, time and time again, only to be burnt by the government and those who would rather take away those rights by slipping last-minute additions (with no hard data or peer-reviewed research behind these measures to support their introduction) into agreed-upon laws, or worse. So if you’re wondering why someone in support of those rights might be wary of politicians and new laws, that’s why. There’s no honesty in that dialogue and we’re all very tired of the same song-and-dance routine.

      As mentioned, last year’s I-594 not only hasn’t come up with any violations to justify the comical amount of money dumped into putting it into law, it hasn’t changed anything, is completely unenforceable (it requires that a gun be legally registered any time it ‘changes hands’; as in, if we’re at a shooting range, and a friend wants to use my gun for five minutes to try it out, ownership must be legally transferred and filed with the government because another human being is now touching it — it’s crazy and there’s no way to enforce that; ask the SPD how they handle that with their armory), and existed solely to drive out the retail businesses from Seattle to neighboring cities by raising taxes and fees to absurd levels. Which it did: all sporting goods stores who sold any amount of firearm-related products have been driven to relocate or lay-off staff to make up for the costs introduced in that bill. There’s not a single one left in Seattle. It’s predatory, discriminatory, and if it were happening with anything you cared about, you’d be extremely upset.

      It’s a really dumb situation, because often times, the only other person running in opposition isn’t even remotely close to being your ideal candidate. On a Presidential level, for example, many people concerned with Gun Rights are voting Trump only on that issue, but dislike just about everything else about the guy. That’s just how unreasonable everything has become (and how apparent the Illusion of Choice has become): there are no moderates anymore, only extreme positions and immediate judgment.

      And then you have the added benefit – as seen in response to your comment – that many people assume you’re a “Hardcore Right-Winger Republican Conservative Who Hates Planned Parenthood And Voted For Bush And Listens To Ted Nugent And…”  simply because of your wanting to protect your rights, which — by the way: most of the people I know participating in CCW are small women. So let that sink in, Champions of Women.

      Meanwhile, aside from your support of gun ownership, you’re 100% okay with legalized pot, gay marriage, public transportation, reduced health care costs, and various other so-called “Liberal” issues; but the fact that you want to be able to protect yourself if you ever need to makes you a horrible person and a card-carrying “REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVE”; even though the Democratic party is really no better and the two are nearly indistinguishable on a number of issues, but they’re the Good Guys, apparently, and you’re most certainly not.

      Many people in Seattle and other left-leaning cities have some pretty hilarious assumptions in regards to legal gun owners. They probably don’t realize that they’re surrounded by neighbors who own (and possibly carry) legal firearms; they probably also don’t realize that many people who choose to own (and/or carry) have been prior victims to violent crime and refuse to be made a victim again. I’m absolutely certain they don’t realize that these same people aren’t the dreaded Republicans that they fear — some Yosemite Sam caricature, straight out of a cartoon.  Furthermore, I can’t imagine they’ve ever seen a gun in-person and base their opinions off of fueled op-ed pieces in the media.

      But I refuse to vote for anyone who aims to restrict any amount of my established rights. That goes for both the rights I value and for the rights of others that I may not even enjoy myself.

      It’s all fun and games until someone comes for the thing you care about. I suppose a lot of people didn’t catch that lesson earlier in life…

      • Mike September 17, 2016 (5:46 am)

        No citizen needs an AR-15 for protection.  Any citizen with their head screwed on straight also knows that one round from a 30-30 bolt action in trained hands is far more effective at taking out a bad guy than 20 rounds from an AR-15 using the spray and pray method of most AR-15 owners.  However, the AR-15 is spectacular at hurting a lot of people and sometimes killing many people within a few seconds.  So, if you want to have an AR-15, I can only assume you wish to take part in a mass shooting, it’s what the AR-15 was designed to do effectively, other than plow a lot of holes in paper targets.  Why not just carry surface to air missile launchers around, it’s a firearm and should be protected under the second amendment, right?  Why not let everyone drive around with 50-caliber mounted on gun turrets on their Toyota Hilux…sorry, Toyota Tacoma like they do in Afghanistan, that should be protected under the second amendment, because it is a firearm.  Where does one look at the second amendment and think, hmmmm…what did our forefathers really intend this to mean?

  • 3rd generation west Seattleite September 15, 2016 (12:54 pm)

    Extremely disappointed with the 34th District endorsement of Jayapal.  I am not enticed by either candidate left running with their lack of experience in the elected official role to go and represent me and the 7th District.  I am aware the candidate does not need to live in the district but I firmly believe that makes a stronger advocate for me and my neighbors let alone the district as a whole.   Jayapal seems to have her own mission that will not be seen until she is in the national spot light.  I feel she is just using our district as a stepping stone for her next political move, not for actually representing us, the people of the 7th District.   I can’t how many people are ready to follow her “movement”.  Hoping they are not all Trump supporters as well-God help us all!

    • Andy September 15, 2016 (3:59 pm)

      I’m in total agreement with you, 3rd generation West Seattleite. I’ve probably lived in West Seattle longer than Pramila Jayapal has lived in the United States. I would like to see her focus on legislation in Olympia, assuming she is elected, to  require that any future elected official who represents me in Olympia must reside in my district. In the short run, however, I will not vote for any candidate who doesn’t.

      • WSB September 15, 2016 (4:13 pm)

        33 years in the U.S., I looked it up. Meantime, as for the residency concern, her campaign notes that her house WAS in the 7th District until the lines were redrawn and that currently it is all of “20 blocks” outside. Is she less qualified to represent the district because the lines were redrawn? Does Columbia City, which is part of the city of Seattle, have less in common with West Seattle than the areas now in the district – such as Edmonds to the north and Burien to the south? We don’t and won’t endorse either candidate (or anyone in any other race) but it’s worth pondering whether and why that would be an issue separate from where a candidate stands or doesn’t stand on policies, issues, etc. I’ve covered politics for 30+ years and hadn’t heard of the “you don’t have to live in the district” option before …

        P.S. She’s not running for a position in Olympia – she’s already a State Senator. She’s running to go to D.C., in the U.S. House. … TR

  • Mark September 15, 2016 (5:00 pm)

    Seattle already has a socialist council member.  We certainly do not need one sent to Washington DC.  What happened to the pragmatic center left politics?

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